Tennis: Auger-Aliassime wins Monte Carlo opener, books Alcaraz clash

AFP , Monday 8 Apr 2024

Felix Auger-Aliassime's reward for a straight-sets opening round win over Luca Nardi at the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday is a showdown with Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz.

Canada s Felix Auger-Aliassime eyes the ball as he plays against Italy s Luca Nardi during their Monte Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament round of 64 tennis match on the Rainier III court at the Monte Carlo Country Club on April 8, 2024. AFP


Auger-Aliassime dismissed Nardi 6-2, 6-3 in a dominant all-round display to claim only his second win in five appearances in Monte Carlo, the place the Canadian lives and trains.

"It is not the Masters where I have had the most success," Auger-Aliassime said. "But it is a good start to the week."

He owns a 3-2 edge over Alcaraz across five previous encounters, but this is the first time they will meet on clay.

Alcaraz, who received a first-round bye in the principality, was limited in practice on Monday, hitting few forehands while again wearing a bandage on his right forearm.

The world number three barely warmed up in the gym where he mainly did some stretches and shuttle runs before heading out onto the practice court.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Alcaraz has yet to win a match at Monte Carlo in his career. He lost his opener in 2022 and withdrew from last year's tournament.

Miami Open finalist Grigor Dimitrov defeated Monegasque wild card Valentin Vacherot 7-5, 6-2 in the first round. The ninth seed will next face Matteo Berrettini or Miomir Kecmanovic.

Former Wimbledon finalist Berrettini on Sunday won his first title in almost two years after triumphing in Marrakesh.

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